A photo of a Mississippi man voting on Tuesday while wearing a racially charged T-shirt has sparked outrage all over the internet.
According to Newsweek, the photo shows a white male wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the image of a Confederate flag with a noose in the middle and the words “Mississippi Justice.”
Election commissioner for DeSoto County Paule Beale, has confirmed that the location where the incident occurred as the Summershill precinct at 7600 Pleasant Hill Road in the city of Olive Branch in Mississippi.
“We at first thought it was Photoshopped,” said Beale. “But we know the lady who was instructing him on using the voting machine.”
The voter at the polling station who took pictures – identified only as “Rashaud” -told BuzzFeed News he did it due to safety concerns.
“When I saw him, I wanted to say something, but my mom was like, ‘Don’t say anything,’ so I took a picture and posted it on Facebook,” Rashaud explained.
Olive Branch, Mississippi. Nov 6th, 2018. pic.twitter.com/UN4vzu8tK2
— smokeySr🐶🐶🐶 (@smokeydaQue1212) November 7, 2018
The picture went viral after a friend of Rashaud’s posted it on Twitter. Initially it was captioned with an incorrect claim that the man in the offensive shirt was a poll worker. Rashaud has since recanted that claim and acknowledged he was mistaken.
“It’s crazy–they try to say the rebel flag is not racist, but to have a noose on the rebel flag, it’s like, what are you trying to say?” he told BuzzFeed. “It just shocks me that people feel it’s OK to come out in public like this. I was just kind of shook up. Everyone was silent. No one said anything.”
Ashleigh Parker was also in line to vote on Tuesday when she noticed a man.
“It was racist and terrible and I hoped no one saw it. I wish I had said something but I held my tongue because I didn’t want to give him any attention,” she later wrote in a Facebook post
Social media users quickly identified the man is a nurse who worked at the Regional One Health hospital in Memphis. The hospital later confirmed that he was an employee there and assured the public that they would be investigating the incident.
“Regional One Health takes the health and well-being of our patients and the community we serve seriously,” a spokesperson for the hospital said in a statement. “All allegations of inappropriate behavior involving employees are reviewed and investigated.”
I was in line with my boys at the same time. I was disgusted and horrified. We all were. He does not speak for the majority of our city. I wish I had spoken up but I didn’t want to bring attention to him.
— Ashleigh Parker (@23ashparker_) November 7, 2018